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Australian Racing: Maher mare to impress at Warrnambool

There are seven meetings scheduled to take place on Sunday including at Grafton, where a nine-race card is scheduled.

They also race at Hobart, Kalgoorlie, Mudgee, Port Augusta, Townsville and Warrnambool.

Race 8 Grafton

Bugalugs @ 34.00

Race 7 Warrnambool

Colombe d’Or @ 3.60

Race 6 Hobart

Restricted Access @ 2.90

Bugalugs goes for Grafton glory

The penultimate contest on the Grafton card is the 1100m Clocktower Hotel John Carlton Cup Quality set to take place on a soft 7 track.

Brett Cavanough’s Fender has been competing at a higher level this season and he is expected to have his supporters jumping from barrier 13.

The seven-year-old registered a good fourth when beaten just over two lengths at Group 3 level in the Moonga Stakes over 1400m at Caulfield in October.

However, he has been unable to build on that subsequently including in two starts this prep.

The gelding has finished 10th over 1300m on both starts since resuming, including when contesting a Benchmark 94 handicap at Randwick last month.

While this looks a much easier contest, BUGALUGS is preferred jumping from an inside barrier.

The son of Scintillo boasts an impressive course record, having won five times and registered five further top-three finishes from 11 starts at this track.

Those five victories include a half-length success in the 1206m Christmas Cup held on a good 4 track in November.

The 34.00 selection raced from the front that day, but was spelled following a last of nine finish under similar tactics at Warwick just over a month later.

While not at his best in three starts this prep, Jimmy Downes’ representative has a good barrier and he has performed well on wet tracks in the past.

The pick came home third in this race in 2021 and is taken to go two places better with Anthony Allen set to ride.

Maher mare to salute at Warrnambool

The seventh race of the day at Warrnambool is a 1700m Benchmark 64 highweight handicap event.

In-form hoop Aaron Kuru has the ride on expected favourite Zaynudin, with the six-year-old having registered a number of placed efforts last year.

Those placed efforts include two over 2400m at Sandown including in a Benchmark 70 handicap event.

The gelding contested a Restricted 64 handicap over 2350m on a good 4 track here in October and was spelled following a Ballarat fourth next time.

Tom Dabernig’s galloper has gone well first up in the past, however, COLOMBE D'OR is preferred for the Ciaron Maher stable.

The 3.60 mare was beaten five lengths when sixth in a Benchmark 70 handicap at this venue when racing first up this prep.

While unable to salute in two subsequent starts, she was beaten less than two lengths when fifth over 1411m at Seymour last month.

All three of her efforts this time around have some on the forecast soft 6 going and stepping up in distance she can score under Steven Pateman.

Access to complete Hobart double

RESTRICTED ACCESS takes the eye in the sixth race of the day at Hobart.

The race in question is a 1390m Class 1 handicap event expected to take place on a soft 5 surface.

Trained by John Blacker, the four-year-old resumed with a third in a 1009m maiden held on the synthetic track at Devonport at the start of last month.

The 2.90 pick was beaten just over three lengths on that occasion and appeared to appreciate the switch to front-running tactics at this venue subsequently.

The gelding came home nearly five lengths clear of his rivals when stepped up to this distance, jumping from barrier nine that day.

While the selection has a wide alley to overcome here, he remains open to improvement and stepping up in distance looks up to completing a double.

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